Religious fidelity and free speech can learn the art of coexistence despite the acerbic challenges that have flowed from the terrible Paris shootings and the arguments about Charlie Hebdo magazine, says Ekklesia associate and Middle East analyst Dr Harry Hagopian. The much harder – and harsher – question is whether we as followers of a religion or as advocates of free speech can coexist too?
Nearly half (46 per cent) of Americans say they are more concerned about the government interfering with the ability of people to freely practice their religion, while an equal number (46 per cent) say they are more concerned about religious groups trying to pass laws that force their beliefs on others.
Without in any way wanting to mitigate the horror, grief and shock of the murders in Paris, I am growing weary of the disingenuity of so many in the media disclaiming the potentially violent power of the pen and the image.
Karen Armstrong, whose new book Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence invites far more subtle understanding of the relationship between faith and fratricide globally, has written a characteristically thoughtful piece on IS/ISIS for The New Statesman magazine: 'Wahhabism to ISIS: how Saudi Arabia exported the main source of global terrorism'.
The fourth Cutting Edge Consortium Conference will take place on 1st November 2014 at Conway Hall, Red Lion’s Square from 10am to 5pm (registration from 9.30am). The theme of this year’s conference is “Equality and Religion in a Changing World”.
'Philosophy, Religion and Public Policy' is an important two-day conference at the University of Chester, established as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Philosophy and Religious Practices Research Network.